School of slain student reaches out to parents

ABC Columbia Cedar Vale shooting Drive ABC Columbia -Matt Perron

Lexington, S.C. (WOLO)–We’re learning more about the child killed in a shooting Tuesday in Lexington Co.
Lexington Coroner Margaret Fisher says 8-year-old Mason Hanahan died after a reported home invasion on Cedar Vale Dr.
A spokesperson for Lexington District One confirmed Mason was a student at Oak Grove Elementary School.
The school sent a letter to parents Wednesday announcing there would be counselors available to students and they were watching for signs of distress.
According to deputies, witnesses say a masked man entered the home early Tuesday morning and exchanged gunfire with the homeowner.
Law enforcement says the homeowner who was shot is expected to recover.
The suspect is also believed to have been injured.
Deputies are encouraging the public to come forward with any information on this case.


The letter to parents sent from Oak Grove Elementary reads as follows:


Dear OGES Parents:
We have some sad news to share. One of our second graders, Mason Hanahan,
passed away. His family gave us permission to share this news. However, they
also asked for privacy.
We chose to send this information to you because we want you to know what
we are doing to support your children and our staff.
Our goal is to keep the school day as normal as possible. We are all listening to
your students’ comments and watching for any signs of distress.
During school, district and school counselors and psychologists will be
available to meet with your child should the need arise. However, if we have
any concerns about how your child handles this, we will contact you directly
by telephone.
We know how hard something like this is even for adults to understand. This
letter contains some general suggestions about how you can help your child.
In general, after something like this, children need to know that they are safe
and that their home is safe. Remember, too, that children look to the adults in
their lives, watch how they handle grief and loss, and take their cues from you
as they approach difficult situations like this.
If you do discuss the death, use very simple language and ideas as death is a
very hard concept for young children to grasp. Listed below are a few general
strategies you may choose to use to talk with your child about death:
Give honest, brief explanations.
Avoid over-answering questions.
Keep responses at the child’s level of understanding.
Listen and hug.
Use a calm, reassuring voice.
Avoid forcing the discussion.
Remind children it is natural and acceptable to show emotion when
someone we love dies.

If you are worried about your child’s reaction, please do not hesitate to call
our school at 803-821-0100. We are here to support your students through

Sherry Cariens

Categories: Lexington, Local News, News